To do the yoga posture practices in this online program, you will need a yoga mat. If buying more props is not something you are ready for right now, don’t worry. The practices in this program are gentle enough that you will be able to do them without any props.
That said, yoga props can can make some poses easier and more accessible, and can help you go deeper in other stretches and poses. (See the Quick Introduction to Props Video from Module 2 on some ideas for what these props are and how we will use them.) If you are interested in getting some, here are a few good resources for high-quality props; I’m giving you my personal favorites after 15 years of practicing and teaching.
Blocks. Yoga blocks come in all kinds of materials (foam, cork, even wood) and sizes, and are the most versatile of props. I personally prefer foam blocks (they are firm, but not overly so) and larger ones (they are easier to work with). Two blocks are great to have, though one is sufficient.
To buy: Hugger Mugger 4-inch Foam Blocks
Straps. Straps are miracle workers for tight backs, hips, and hamstrings. The help us get into poses we would not otherwise get into, and make wonderful stretches even more delicious!
To buy: Hugger Mugger D-Ring 8 ft. Yoga Strap for one-stop shopping, but you can get these anywhere!
Blankets. Blankets are a wonderful prop to have, but they are optional to buy. The two chief uses of yoga blankets are for helping us sit better, and for padding knees in some yoga poses on our mats. If you have some woven blankets at home, you can use those and don’t need to buy any. If you do wish to purchase some, I recommend spending the money to get good-quality thick blankets. You can start with one, or get two or three for sitting. (See also How to Sit Video from Module 3.)
Meditation cushion. A meditation cushion (a.k.a. zafu) is optional for the purposes of our program, because you have many choices of where to sit for the inner practices, such as a chair or blankets. However, if you decide that you want to build a meditation practice and dedicate a meditation cushion to it, the one below is what I have been using for many years, and it is the best meditation cushion I have ever encountered. The nice thing about this cushion is that it is filled with buckwheat, so you can put it flat on the ground and sit on it cross-legged, or you can just as comfortably set it vertically and sit astride it. (See also How to Sit Video from Module 3.)
Bolster. The most optional prop of all, you can probably skip this one altogether for now. We don’t use these much in this program, unless you have sensitive wrists at the moment and would rather prop yourself up on your forearms. Note that the same function can be fulfilled using blankets. If you do decide to invest in a bolster, there are certainly lots of restorative poses you can do with them, that I can tell you about if you contact me. You can use a bolster as a sitting cushion (for meditation), but between the two, I would probably buy a meditation cushion first.
Bonus: eye pillow. I did not talk about this in my videos, but eye pillows make for the most divine relaxation experience! You can put an eye pillow on your eyes at the end of all the posture practices when we rest in savasana (lying down on the mat), you can use it any time you want to do the inner practices lying down, rather than sitting (be careful not to fall asleep!), and of course you can use them outside the yoga practices too. The one below is filled with flaxseed and herbs and is made of silk. Yum!
I did not record my video or audio with any music. This was purposeful: practicing yoga in silence is a beautiful choice, or you may want to add your own music and vary it as you repeat a given recorded practice. If you need some inspiration, here are a few good music choices that I particularly enjoy when I teach and practice.
Stream of Dreams by Dan Gibson’s Solitudes - nature sounds with music. Available on Amazon, Spotify, and probably other platforms.
Music for Yoga and Other Joys by Ben Leinbach & Jai Uttal - an album of peaceful and spacey music that is right for any level of energy and practice.
The Essence by Deva Premal - Deva Premal is an international yoga music superstar, and rightly so. She performs beautiful yogic chants, some energizing, some soothing.
Music for Deep Meditation: Tibetan Singing Bowl - sounds of Tibetan Bowls and Tibetan Gongs, wonderful tracks for healing meditation or doing posture practice with. Also available on iTunes.
Some wonderful selections for books to read on mindfulness and self-healing that I love, read and reread, and live by. This list will grow over time.
Love, Medicine and Miracles: Lessons Learned About Self-Healing by Bernie Siegel
Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön